Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Strategic Planning for Child Care

Do you have a Strategic Plan for your child care program?  The vast majority of people will respond "no" and most don't even know why they should have one (or perhaps even what it is).

A Strategic Plan can be considered the roadmap that can help you see how to achieve your vision for your program.  A properly developed Strategic Plan will articulate your vision, mission, core values, goals, objectives and strategies.

A Strategic Plan can help you to become more proactive in your management, rather than just reacting to whatever happens.  It will help you assess where your program is going over the next 3 to 5 years, how you will get there, and how you will know if you arrived.

A carefully developed Strategic Plan can help you:

  • Clearly define the purpose of your program
  • Solve programmatic problems
  • Make decisions about your program
  • Properly assess needs and allocate resources
  • Provide a common vision for all of your stakeholders—board, management, staff, volunteers, parents, community members, etc.
  • Assist with fundraising and marketing
  • Establish a baseline from which progress can be measured
If you don't have a Strategic Plan yet, we offer a template and a "how-to" guideline to make your planning simple.  Check it out at: http://daycaretools.com/DaycareProducts.aspx#Policies 

Most of us believe that we are so busy that we don't have time to worry about a Strategic Plan.  The reality is that taking the time to develop a thoughtful Strategic Plan will save time in the long run as you will have a more defined vision for your program.  I think Lewis Carroll stated it best when he said “If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

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